GoCruise Conference - January 2016
After an exciting and prosperous 12 months in the world of cruising, which saw many new ships and itineraries, it was time for the annual January GoCruise conference. Many new cruise specialists joined Cruise Franchise throughout 2015 and, for them, this was their first conference. This year, the venue was Coombe Abbey - once a 12th-century monastery, now converted into a unique 4* hotel.
Each GoCruise conference provides a great opportunity to discuss the previous year and how to move forward as a business into 2016. Head of Cruise for GoCruise, Geoff Ridgeon, led the event and provided a general overview of the travel industry as a whole and where cruise specialists may be able to gain an advantage over other independent agents.
The phrase “Get the Edge” was used frequently to emphasise the great value that cruise specialists can offer each and every customer when compared with other firms. It is worth noting that GoCruise offers lower credit card fees, no booking fees, no cancellation fee (excluding that which is imposed by any specific cruise line) and no amendment fees.
Geoff emphasised the level of success by stating that GoCruise cruise specialists make higher average commission earnings than many industry rivals. He also addressed the challenges faced in 2015 but was quick to acknowledge the overall strength of the admin department at head office and how issues were addressed.
Franchise Manager, Bridget Coe, then took to the stage to talk about marketing and the importance of maintaining an online presence. It takes time to develop a database as a new Cruise Specialist, but advertising your business through every platform possible is the first step in gauging interest and building customer relations.
As well as receiving talks from members of head office, Cruise Specialists were also able to welcome speakers from the industry. Hurtigruten’s Head of Sales for UK, Anthony Daniels, and Royal Caribbean’s Sales Director for UK and Ireland were both enthusiastic about the future of cruising and the directions in which the respective cruise lines are going.
In addition to hearing from GoCruise head office staff, Cruise specialists were also able to put across their thoughts, questions and queries. Many members of the team from GoCruise head office were available on the day to provide assistance and help in fields such as finalising bookings and social media presence.
Following the morning presentations, guests were then able to converse with a variety of cruise lines including Cunard, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines at a networking event. This provided a great opportunity for Cruise Specialists to pick up the latest brochures and marketing material whilst learning about the variety of itineraries available.
After a day of absorbing information and finding out more about the upcoming year of cruising, the evening presented an opportunity to unwind and socialise. Entertainment was provided in the form of a unique medieval banquet, in a special chamber within Coombe Abbey. This really brought the surroundings and décor to life as entertainers in traditional dress led a fantastic event of fine food, wine, music and comedy.
Our family of over 60 Cruise Specialists from across the country is continuing to grow all the time. Each conference provides a great opportunity to discuss ideas and get to meet members of our team from Head Office.
GoCruise is owned by Fred. Olsen Travel – a respectable and trustworthy brand with extensive experience in the travel industry. Over the past 15 years, we have grown from strength to strength and are now widely regarded as one of best independent agencies in the travel industry. Upon joining Cruise Franchise, you will receive extensive training in the fields of business management and cruising from our experienced and highly knowledgeable experts.
For more information, contact us via the Freephone Number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.